Breaking Conventions

Adventurous art gets its day (and night): Musiqa honors FotoFest pioneers

Adventurous art gets its day (and night): Musiqa honors FotoFest heads

60 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Kim Clark Renteria, Carrie Shoemake, Michael Epstein and Janice Poplack
Kim Clark Renteria, from left, Carrie Shoemake, Janice Poplack and Michael Epstein Photo by Joshua Hahn
51 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Minnette Boesel, Fred Baldwin, Wendy Watriss, Musiqa board chairman Ed Shoemake
Minnette Boesel, from left, Fred Baldwin, Wendy Watriss and Ed Shoemake Photo by Joshua Hahn
9 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Mary Lou Swift, Anny Whyte, Chair Christina Hanson
Mary Lou Swift, from left, Anny Whyte and Christina Hanson Photo by Joshua Hahn
21 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Karen Arnold, Gabriella Munoz, Viviana Denechaud and Christina Hanson
Karen Arnold, from left, Gabriella Munoz, Viviana Denechaud and Christina Hanson Photo by Joshua Hahn
30 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Paula Schlesinger and Alan Schlesinger and Wanda Harding
Alan and Paula Schlesinger, left, with Wanda Harding Photo by Joshua Hahn
18 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Musiqa's Rob Smith, Sandra Tirey and Jan van Lohuizen
Rob Smith, from left, Sandra Tirey and Jan van Lohuizen Photo by Joshua Hahn
17 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Musiqa interim director Joe Wilson, Minnette Boesel and Musiqa's Tony Brandt
Joe Wilson, from left, Minnette Boesel and Anthony K. Brandt Photo by Joshua Hahn
62 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Stephanie Jones, Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss
Stephanie Jones, from left, Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss Photo by Joshua Hahn
10 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Diana Greene, Sabrina Espinoza and Karrie Lelsz
Diana Greene, from left, Sabrina Espinoza and Karrie Lelsz Photo by Joshua Hahn
33 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Jana Vander Lee and FotoFest honoree Wendy Watriss
Jana Vander Lee, left, and Wendy Watriss Photo by Joshua Hahn
2 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Christina Hanson, Tony Brandt and Jennifer Barron
Christina Hanson, from left, Anthony K. Brandt and Jennifer Barron Photo by Joshua Hahn
60 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Kim Clark Renteria, Carrie Shoemake, Michael Epstein and Janice Poplack
51 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Minnette Boesel, Fred Baldwin, Wendy Watriss, Musiqa board chairman Ed Shoemake
9 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Mary Lou Swift, Anny Whyte, Chair Christina Hanson
21 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Karen Arnold, Gabriella Munoz, Viviana Denechaud and Christina Hanson
30 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Paula Schlesinger and Alan Schlesinger and Wanda Harding
18 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Musiqa's Rob Smith, Sandra Tirey and Jan van Lohuizen
17 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Musiqa interim director Joe Wilson, Minnette Boesel and Musiqa's Tony Brandt
62 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Stephanie Jones, Fred Baldwin and Wendy Watriss
10 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Diana Greene, Sabrina Espinoza and Karrie Lelsz
33 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Jana Vander Lee and FotoFest honoree Wendy Watriss
2 Musiqa Passport benefit gala May 2013 Christina Hanson, Tony Brandt and Jennifer Barron

Every concert is an artistic escapade when it comes to the programs of classical music presenter Musiqa Houston. As such, it was fitting that its 11th anniversary social be titled "Passport to Adventure."

When 75 guests descended onto Gremillion & Co. Fine Art on Thursday, it was to raise a glass for the group's receipt of a CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming grant and to honor a duo who hasn't shied away from breaking conventions in a different genre.

Chaired by Christine Hanson, the assemblage recognized FotoFest founders Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin for their international contribution to the field of photography. Minnette Boesel, Mayor Annise Parker's assistant for cultural affairs, seized the opportunity to give an official stamp of approval and proclaimed May 2 Wendy Watriss and Fred Baldwin Day in Houston.

Enticed by hors d'oeuvres and wine courtesy of Houston Wine Merchant, guests pored over a silent auction that included art, photography, wine and a week-long stay at a historic home in Isleboro, Maine. Crowning the fundraiser was a high-decibel performance spotlighting the University of Houston's Percussion Ensemble directed by Blake Wilkins, who's seen regularly on the Musiqa stage dancing around a myriad of instruments de batterie.

Sipping and mingling alongside interim director Joe Wilson and artistic board members Anthony K. Brandt, Rob Smith, Karim Al-Zand and Marcus Maroney were Houston Symphony CEO Mark Hanson, Lainie Gordon and David Mincberg, Michael Epstein and Janice Poplack, Mimi Kilgore, Kim Clark Renteria, Sandra Tirey and Jan van Lohuizen, Bill Joor, Viviana and David Denechaud, American Century's Jennifer Barron, Sue and Roger Hochman, Barbara and Don Ostdiek, Karen Arnold and Alison and John Bieser.